Bulletin of Dental Education

Dr. Paul Mullasseril Named Dean of the University of Oklahoma COD

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Paul M. Mullasseril, D.D.S., M.S.

The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (OU COD) has appointed Paul M. Mullasseril, D.D.S., M.S., as Dean. 

Dr. Mullasseril recently served OU COD as Assistant Dean for Clinical and Preclinical Education and Director of OU Health Dentistry, the college’s faculty practice clinic. He is the fifth dean of the college, replacing Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., who was named executive director of the American Dental Association earlier this year. 

“We are thrilled to announce Dr. Paul Mullasseril as the new dean of the College of Dentistry,” says OU President Joseph Harroz, Jr., J.D. “His experience as an educator and clinician, combined with his leadership in organized dentistry, make him an excellent choice to the lead the college. I am confident in his ability to build upon the college’s reputation as one of the top dental programs in the country.”

Born in Mumbai, Dr. Mullasseril grew up in India and completed his dental education at the University of Bombay in 1988. He began his postdoctoral training in maxillofacial prosthetics at OU COD, graduating in 1994. Afterward, he completed a fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in 1996. 

In 1998, Dr. Mullasseril joined the faculty in the Department of Removable Prosthetics at the OU COD and served as Director of the Department of Maxillofacial Prosthetics from 2002 to 2008. In 2008, he moved his family to Spokane, WA, to accept a position at Eastern Washington University. However, within a few years, Dr. Mullasseril and his family moved back to Oklahoma and he resumed work at OU COD. When asked about the reason for returning to Oklahoma and OU, he stated Oklahoma felt more like home.  

In 2011, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry at the college, and in 2012 he was appointed Director of the Faculty Practice Dental Clinic. In 2015, he was named Assistant Dean for Clinical and Preclinical Education. Additionally, he holds the Connie and Herbert T. Shillingburg, D.D.S., Professorship of Fixed Prosthodontics. 

“I am very humbled and delighted to accept this role, as the OU COD has had a significant impact upon my life and career,” Dr. Mullasseril says. “I am looking forward to working with university leadership and the college of dentistry’s outstanding faculty and staff as we remain committed to providing our students with a superior, hands-on clinical education, preparing them to excel as clinicians, patient advocates and leaders within the profession. Further, it is my goal to expand the access of high-quality dental care at an affordable cost to the people of Oklahoma.”

Dr. Mullasseril served as President of the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA) from 2020 to 2021. During his presidency, he focused on further developing the relationship between the dental community and the college. He also worked closely with state legislators to develop legislation that will benefit the oral health and well-being of the citizens of Oklahoma. 

Additionally, in collaboration with the ODA and the Dale Graham Veterans Foundation in Norman, Dr. Mullasseril coordinated the first-ever clinic at the college to provide free dental treatment to selected Oklahoma veterans, which was held in March 2021. The veterans clinic is a project close to Dr. Mullasseril’s heart, as he served in the United States Army Reserve from 2001 to 2009, earning the rank of major. 

Dr. Mullasseril received the Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award from the OU Health Sciences Center Student Council in both 2000 and 2011. He has served as a consultant and key opinion leader for Imtec Corp., as well as Park Dental Research and 3M Corp. In addition, he has presented dental continuing education nationally and internationally on the topics of removable prosthetics and implant dentistry. 

Dr. Mullasseril is a member of the American Dental Association, Oklahoma Dental Association, Oklahoma County Dental Society, Pierre Fauchard Academy, American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, American Dental Education Association, Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, and Academy of Osseointegration. 

“Dr. Mullasseril has a vision for OU to lead dental health care across Oklahoma, including our new expansion in Tulsa to improve oral health outcomes,” says Jason R. Sanders, M.D., M.B.A., Senior Vice President and Provost of the OU Health Sciences Center. “His expertise, enthusiasm and relationship with the dental community will bring success in priorities such as patient access, student experience, advanced technology research and continuing dental education. Dr. Mullasseril will lead the entire college of dentistry in interprofessional strategic initiatives across the OU Health Sciences Center and OU Health.”

During his time at the OU COD, Dr. Mullasseril has worked with various colleges and centers across campus to create pipeline programs that allow comprehensive treatment plans for patients in need of dental care before further medical care can be administered. 

Courtesy of University of Oklahoma Marketing and Communications 

Published on Oct. 13, 2021

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